Veteran movie star Bruce Willis is undergoing a tough time after being diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which has led to hindering his ability to communicate. The megastar’s family recently issued a new statement, confirming that the actor’s condition has worsened after the diagnosis. The news comes one year after Willis stepped away from acting due to an initial diagnosis of aphasia.
FTD, A Cruel & Rare Disease…
Bruce Willis, best known for his portrayal of John McClane in the Die Hard franchise (1988–2013, is diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The news of his diagnosis was confirmed by his family in a new statement on Thursday (Feb. 16). The official statement was attributed to his wife Emma Heming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and his children, Tallulah, Mabel, Evelyn, Rumer and Scout.
Before this statement, a confirmation of his diagnosis was posted on his child, Rumer’s account. The initial statement drew prayers and best wishes from stars like Alyssa Milano, Aaron Paul, Jonathan Tucker and Wilmer Valderrama. Aaron wrote, “Sending hugs to you and that beautiful family of yours. Your pops are such a damn legend. “Love this whole family,” responded Jonathan Tucker. Milano wrote, “Sending you love.”
While the family is relieved to have a clear diagnosis, they also confirmed that Bruce’s condition has worsened following the “painful” dementia diagnosis, which has hindered his ability to communicate. The family also provided vivid details about this rare disease. The full official statement is provided below:
“As a family, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of love and compassion for Bruce over the past ten months. Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it. For your kindness, and because we know you love Bruce as much as we do, we wanted to give you an update.
Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in the spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.
FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know. Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.
Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.
Ours is just one family with a loved one who suffers from FTD, and we encourage others facing it to seek out the wealth of information and support available through AFTD (@theaftd, theaftd.org). And for those of you who have been fortunate enough to not have any personal experience with FTD, we hope that you will take the time to learn about it, and support AFTD’s mission in whatever way you can.
Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time. Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible.”
More About FTD…
The Alzheimer’s Association describes FTD as “a group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind your forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind your ears).” The nerve cell damage results in loss of function of brain regions and causes deterioration in personality, behaviour and communication.
Even though medicine can help reduce irritability and depression, sadly, there is no specific treatment for FTD, and it only gets worse with time. “The speed of decline varies from case to case”, the association expressed. Bruce, who was diagnosed with aphasia (degenerative brain disease that affects speech and communication in general) in the spring of 2022, gave up his acting career that spans more than three decades.
Willis is known for playing wisecracking or hard-edged characters, mostly in action movies. The “Sixth Sense” star has received several accolades throughout his career, which includes a Golden Globe Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards and two People’s Choice Awards. He also received a star on the Holywood Walk of Fame in 2006.
He’s best known for hits like “12 Monkeys”, “Armageddon”, “The Sixth Sense”, “Die Hard” franchise, “Death Becomes Her”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Sin City”, “Moonrise Kingdom” and “Last Boy Scout”. It is hard to believe that the action star has come to a point, where he’s struggling to speak or recognise his own loved ones. Well, such is life! We wish the family strength and courage in this troubled time.